Welcome to Black Friday, y'all!
It’s not your one-stop shop for black news (prioritize black people all the time), but do check in for a corner of black-centric news—preferably of the queer and femme nature.
ATL March for Black Transwomen
So checking your clock, when was the last time you marched? Well, reset that clock as it’s time to MARCH for the Gurlz. This Sunday, SNaP Co. has organized a march in a petition to stop killing black trans women starting from the North Avenue MARTA station. SNaP Co. invites all in solidarity to march, as we shield our sisters and remind everyone that black trans lives are facing death and aggressive oppression systemically, socially, and even mentally. Keep your fucking pussy hats at home please.
The March beginning at 3pm, is just is a chance to show up and out for these girls, raise the names of our fallen and to remind the world that prioritizing black trans women is crucial. Say their names: Chyna Doll Dupree, Ciara McElveen, Jaquarrius Holland, Jojo Striker, Keke Collier, Mesha Caldwell.
Emmit Till/The Whitney Biennial
In the art world, black death has found it’s way into the hands of yet another white profiteer. A painting depicting Emmet Till has caused justifiable outrage over the exploitation and commodification of black death by white handlers in the art world. Rearing it’s head at the Whitney biennial, debate, if you can call it that, of whether it’s ok for whites to profit off of black bodies, especially the spectacle of black death, has been met with much more protest from many who believe to be a gross error. Black artist, Parker Bright has staged peaceful protests in gallery sometimes blocking the image, while wearing a “Black Death Spectacle” t-shirt and many are calling for destruction of the piece which Hanna Black, British-born black artist, includes in her written letter to the biennial’s curators.
“The subject matter is not Schutz’s,” Ms. Black wrote in a Facebook message. “White free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go.” She added that “contemporary art is a fundamentally white supremacist institution despite all our nice friends.”
Both the Whitney and the artist have given responses, but both have proved paltry and dismissive of the fact that a white artist is using the image of a black person for acclaim, and that the story behind this image is much older and larger than both the intstitution and artist while they are explore these same themes.
EMMET TILL IS NOT A “CONVERSATION STARTER,” HE WAS MURDERED BY A WHITE WOMAN’S LIES. In a world where his murderers are still alive, with family in office, I would much prefer not having a white woman also profit off of him….again.
For those unfamiliar, Death Note is a Japanese anime involving a Japanese boy who finds a notebook that can kill people. The story is a classic tale given high regard for it’s clever writing as a heart pumping thriller. Netflix has decided to take on a live action film based on the series, but what’s great about Western media is that it is very white and really wants that to stick around guys. So... sorry, but there’s been some changes.
Now the story is set in Seattle, and it’s just another white boy with power, killing people. Oh my god, so much more real. I can’t argue there. In an interesting twist, though, the main “protagonist,” the guy fighting vs. Chad, is Keith Stanfield, a black man, which almost feels like troll on what I take as a parodic stage, but there are a couple light things to unpack real quick.
Now in one corner you’ve got this amazing story written from the Japanese perspective, gone wet, wild and white, but in the other corner you have the black fill-in for a character meant to be one of the a worlds most renowned detectives. Spoiler Alert…. Also for those familiar with Death Note, the punchline is he dies. Yay for filling the one POC role in a Japanese animation-based, live-action,white-remake as arguably one of the most compellingly clever characters that fails and dies. Oh Hollywood you spoil us. I think I’m actually sick. For real STOP.
In another strange twist as the media circus rolls along, many thumbs(“people”...yts) have expressed marked distaste for the race switch as it just doesn’t match the source material at all and will completely destroy the root themes of the story; the Japanese animation based story...with Asians...now set in Seattle with fucking Noah and the water polo team here. Who knows, I won’t, but Death Note will be following it’s Ghost in the Shell, whitewashed footsteps sometime later this year.
Matt Jones is your average carefree black boi, community worker, and sensei. As an Atlanta based artist he dreams to foster community and advocate real change for issues involving but not limited to mental health, queer life, and POC disparity.